Could Pantelleria be our next European bike tour destination?
In October we will once again be riding the 3 Islands Tour through Corsica, Sardinia, and Sicily. One of our guides on this adventure, since we first launched the tour in 2016, is proud Sicilian Giuseppe Di Giorgio (pictured above). Giuseppe will be leading us from Palermo to Siracusa on week 3 of this Mediterranean odyssey. When not guiding he is a special needs teacher and agronomist by profession. His passion for Sicily is infectious and his knowledge about his homeland is incredible. As such he was keen to share with us a recent experience he had on the Italian island of Pantelleria, part of the Sicilan province of Trapani. Long since discovered by the cognoscenti – Giorgio Armani spends a lot of time there for example – we thought it would be interesting to present it as a potential 4th island option at the end of what is already an epic European bike tour.
In the words of Giuseppe – 100 Km from Capo Lilibeo (Marsala) and 80 Km from Tunisia, a “black pearl” rises in the center of the Mediterranean – a harsh but sweet and very fertile land, where the luxuriant nature has adapted to live without water, a landing place for all travelers who have always inhabited it, adapting to its wealth. We see this adaptation in the architecture as well. In the ‘dammusi’ houses, born as stone fortresses with barrel roofs and stone walls two meters thick, and the Jardini – large hollow towers that welcome a single citrus tree and shelter it from the wind. the island’s natural gems include the buvìre wells of fresh water at sea level, and the Specchio di Venere – a large natural thermal lake that reflects the colors of the sky.
In 2016 the first National Park in Sicily was born in Pantelleria, to preserve its dense Mediterranean woods and its ancient agricultural history, establishing a UNESCO site for the cultivation of zibibbo and the production of sweet passito wine.
Wine cultivation Vines on Pantelleria Passito di Pantelleria
It is here that I spent a period working with the National Park to become an official guide, like Ulysses, and with a desire for discovery I walked the paths, and cycled the ancient Roman roads, meeting caper growers and hearing stories of resistance – those who choose to live on this island must choose to resist adversity and live in harmony with nature.
When you discover something really beautiful you want to share it immediately with your closest friends, that’s why I called Dylan, to suggest he get to know this corner of paradise, and share it with others. I invite you to spend a few days with me in the middle of the Mediterranean Sea, a place of great charm, a crossroads for all people.
Specchio Venere Arco dell’Elephante
Some of my highlights for a stay on Pantelleria
- Bathing at night in the thermal waters of the Mirror of Venus lake
- Walking in the Gelfisér lava flow
- Collecting capers and taste the Passito wine
- Enjoying an Aperitivo in the Pantelleria garden of Peppe D’Ajetti
- Cycling all around the island
- Wine tasting in the dammuso of the Serragghia Plain
- Eating Pantelleria salad…. capers, oregano, tomatos, onions, potatoes
- Experiencing a sunset dinner in the port of Scauri
- Diving among the Punic wrecks with Eddy
- Taking a sauna in a natural dry bath cave
You can see Giuseppe’s Bio on our Team page, and for more info on our 3 Islands Tour through Corsica, Sardinia, and Sicily you can download the Tour Overview.